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The Active Ingredient features expert insights and commentary from leaders of ZS Associates' global pharmaceuticals practice.

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Traditional Pharma Sales Roles Are Becoming Obsolete. Here's How to Adapt.

Posted by Ian Wilcox on Thu, Feb 07, 2019

Pharma selling is headed for a major disruption. Factors such as the proliferation of technology and artificial intelligence, the ongoing debate over the Affordable Care Act in the U.S. and decreased access to physicians are all making the traditional approaches to pharma selling obsolete. Like a cassette tape making way for the CD, traditional sales roles are being replaced with more specialized roles. These shifts in the marketplace predict a looming talent gap that pharma executives must begin to address now before it cripples their ability to compete for market share.

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Topics: customer engagement, pharma sales, account management, sales reps, patient services, talent management, sales roles, sales executives

Promotional Preferences: Are Pharma Sales Reps Listening to Doctors’ Cues?

Posted by Malcolm Sturgis on Thu, Apr 05, 2018

The opportunities to communicate with physicians and other key decision-makers in person has dwindled over the last decade, according to ZS’s AffinityMonitor™ and AccessMonitor™ reports, which study doctors’ true behaviors and their affinities for different promotional channels. Drilling down into particular specialties, we see a similar picture—and even more drastic declines. In oncology, for example, 24% of oncologists are “accessible” today, compared with the more than 90% of oncologists who met with most pharma reps in 2009. As a result, pharma companies have largely increased their reliance on digital promotion, but are pharma companies paying attention to doctors’ cues?

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Topics: customer engagement, pharma sales, AccessMonitor, physician access, AffinityMonitor, digital marketing, targeting, personalization, customer suggestions, pharma marketing, promotional preferences

The CVS/Aetna Effect: How Pharma Can Prepare for Change

Posted by Paul Darling on Thu, Dec 21, 2017

CVS Health’s proposed purchase of Aetna and UnitedHealth Group’s plan to buy DaVita’s primary care units could bring a sea change for healthcare delivery. They are two examples of the corporatization of healthcare delivery and the broader evolution of the healthcare landscape that’s currently under way. In addition to securing the position of immediate care facilities and pharmacies as first-line healthcare providers—which is expected to continue to reframe the healthcare delivery model as we know it—these deals would affect all corners of the healthcare ecosystem in areas from data and analytics to drug pricing and pharmaceutical customer influence.

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Topics: customer insights, customer engagement, Pharma, vertical integration, healthcare ecosystem, m&a, consolidation, local healthcare market, commercial strategy, CVS/Aetna, healthcare delivery, immediate care facilities

International Customer Segmentation and Targeting: An Implementation Case Study

Posted by Didier Chicheportiche on Wed, Dec 13, 2017

Simon Stirrup co-wrote this blog post with Didier Chicheportiche

This blog post is the final in a three-part series on why pharmaceutical companies should develop and implement an international customer segmentation and targeting strategy, what it takes to get started, and how one company has found success in overcoming common pitfalls.

In the first post in this series, we looked at the challenges inherent in translating a philosophy of customer engagement into a practical segmentation and targeting approach that works at the global level. In the second post in this series, we shared best practices for building and implementing an international strategy that enables the right activities to be delivered to the right customers at the right time. In this installment, we’ll look at how one company successfully harmonized its tools and processes to enable a consistent—but also flexible—sales management strategy across global markets.

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Topics: customer engagement, Sales Force, Pharma, Customer Segmentation, customer data, international customer segmentation and targeting, global markets, customer targeting, harmonization

How to Boost Customer Engagement With AI-Driven Dynamic Channel Orchestration

Posted by Omer Hancer on Mon, Nov 06, 2017

Ankush Gupta co-wrote this blog post with Omer Hancer.

With sales and marketing teams functioning in silos, pharmaceutical companies are targeting the same customer with multiple, uncoordinated campaigns, leading to healthcare professionals hearing different or even inconsistent messages from various channels within the same organization, sometimes on the same day.  

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Topics: customer engagement, Digital Channels, Pharma, Pharmaceutical Marketing, Promotion, personalization, artificial intelligence, AI, machine learning, channel orchestration, next-best actions, email messaging

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